I had the pleasure of meeting with Governor Jay Nixon last week to discuss Medicaid expansion. We met in Warrensburg and following the meeting the Governor held a press conference and I had the honor of being asked to be on stage with the Governor. Kelli Jenkins and I represented the Greater Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board and voiced the board’s support for the expansion.
Here’s a picture from the event, that’s Kelli and me to the right of the Gov. If you look over my right shoulder you’ll also see Sheriff Kent Oberkrom:
The Greater Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously voted to encourage its members to contact local legislators and voice their support for Medicaid expansion in Missouri. The Chamber Board has been paying close attention to the debate about Medicaid reform and has objectively reviewed both sides. The board understands the need to reform Medicaid and other concerns associated with the issue however; from a purely economic perspective Medicaid expansion is important to the greater Clinton area and the state.
If Missouri misses the opportunity to participate in the expansion the result on the economy and the strength of its health care system could be disastrous. The Chamber Board does not support the Affordable Care Act and they believe that federal spending needs to be controlled but the reality is the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and the state cannot afford to leave federal money on the table.
“The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is committed to bringing new jobs and new investments to their community,” Governor Jay Nixon said. “Business leaders know that bringing our tax dollars back home from Washington is good for our economy, good for business, and good for working families. They also know that if we fail to strengthen Medicaid, rural hospitals and small town clinics face a real threat of cutting services or closing their doors. We must not let that happen. It’s time to move forward on Medicaid for rural Missouri.”
The Chamber represents the business community and every business pays for the uninsured through higher insurance premiums for their employees as health care providers are forced to cost shift to cover the uninsured. If Medicaid expansion does not occur both businesses and individual tax payers will continue to cover the cost of care because our local health care providers are compassionate and caring and they will not turn anyone away.
Missouri tax payers will be paying for Medicaid expansion whether the state participates or not. Participating in the expansion allows the state to accept federal money and retain Missouri dollars, increase employment and capital spending, decrease health care costs for businesses and individuals and most importantly improves the health of our state.